The Kim Kardashian Game Is So Good I Had to Stop Playing It
It’s not surprising that the mobile game Kim Kardashian: Hollywood is expected to generate $200 million in annual revenue, because Kim Kardashian generates money the way that most people generate carbon dioxide. She earned $28 million in the past 12 months simply by showing up at events, showing up on TV, and showing up (albeit in name only) in Sears and CVS via various Kardashian-branded consumer products. One time, she made $500,000 by going to a party. Another time, she made $500,000 for turning 30.
It is surprising, however, that Glu Mobile’s Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, the top free title in Apple’s App Store as of this writing, has been so warmly received by critics and the general public. The game—in which players trace a celebutante’s ascent from anonymous retail drone to name-brand shower-upper—has tens of thousands of five-star reviews; it’s the only five-star-rated game in the current top 10. On Vulture, Lindsey Weber called KK:H “legitimately good,” a “funny and well-written parody” of Planet Kardashian. Charlotte Alter of Time praised “Kim Kardashian’s genius new game,” hailing Kim as “a Virgil for our time.” Jezebel’s Tracie Egan Morrissey blew nearly $500 on in-app purchases to make KK:H’s version of the A-list and proclaimed it “so fucking fun”—although “in a really terrible, anxiety-ridden, OCD-triggering kind of way.”
Jessica Winter is executive editor of newyorker.com and a former editor at Slate and Time. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, Bookforum, The Believer, and many other publications. She lives with her family in Flatbush, Brooklyn.